Nicaragua’s president administers vaccine to infant.

Administering the country’s first rotavirus vaccine, Nicaragua’s president marks introduction in the developing world during the same year the vaccine became available in the US.

PATH's work at the country level recognizes the need for flexibility. Working closely with country leaders, we help develop a unique approach to diarrheal disease control that addresses the needs and opportunities of each setting.


Through a comprehensive approach, a cross-sector coalition that includes experts from Ministry of Health departments of hygiene, epidemiology, child health, nutrition, and information is working to halt deaths from diarrheal disease in Nicaragua. This team combined efforts with NicaSalud (a local coalition of nongovernmental organizations), PATH, UNICEF, and others to engage public-sector clinics and train health care workers to provide zinc and new, low-osmolarity oral rehydration solution throughout the country.

A parallel demonstration project by vaccine manufacturer Merck & Co., Inc., and the ministry aimed to show the feasibility of rotavirus vaccine introduction in a low-resource setting and to record its public health impact. Then-president Enrique Bolaños administered the first dose of Merck's RotaTeq® vaccine on October 26, 2006, making Nicaragua the first developing country to introduce a new rotavirus vaccine.

Photo: Merck & Co., Inc.